We paid another visit to Jane today. This was my fourth trip to her tucked-away home and the litter of puppies her Lab, Fly, whelped five-and-a-half weeks ago. One of those pups will come home with us a little over a week from now.
The puppies were spending their second full day in a picket-fenced play area outside. They’d grown in size and personality since my last visit.
The females were particularly interested in nibbling on my shoelaces, pockets, toes, fingers, wrists, elbows, wristwatch, and mala beads, while the boys were more reserved, loafing along the fence in the shade.
It didn’t matter. All ten were picked up, rolled over, scratched, talked-to, and generally handled by Kelly and me. We enjoyed lavishing attention, too on Jane’s older Labs Jack, Rudy, Lola, and Fly, the mama of these pups, and her very cool cat, Lester.
Afterward we enjoyed a couple of hours of Jane’s hospitality, talking the particulars of caring for a Lab pup. We’ve been down this road before with Zele, but Jane’s expert knowledge has become a welcome addition to what we know and think we know about raising a pup.
There’s been more to our talks than dog adoption. Enjoying conversation, learning her experiences training and showing field trial Labs, and particularly hearing about her younger years in the 1960s American South have made an indelible impression on me. I feel richer for having met Jane, and for the referral by our friend and veterinarian, Betty Myers.
Anyway, to the pups. Of the ten, four are females previously spoken-for, and one is a male previously spoken-for. The remaining five, all near-white yellow-coated males, are available. They were arrayed together when we arrived. While I haven’t chosen one, there were a couple that I had my eye on. One in particular. He’s among these photos.
We’re preparing for our new friend. In the next week we’ll purchase a collar and have a name tag made. His kennel is already in place in our living room, and a penned bed set up on our back deck where we spend our summer evenings. The goal is to have him with us whenever we’re home, either playing, eating, out in the yard, or kenneled.
Up in the air are the first few nights of his life with us. Jane advises keeping him physically close, as he’s never known being alone. Having been raised in a house where pets weren’t permitted above the first floor, the idea of a pup on my bed is both intriguing and questionable. I suspect my heart will win out. This dog will grow into our home comforted by us day and night.
My next post about these pups will be about just one of them, the one we’ve brought home, the one we’ll spend the rest of his life with. He’ll spend days in our quilt shop, “vacations” with Auntie Pam and Uncle Charlie (your dog should be so lucky), care by Dr. Betty (ditto), and many years with us, our Golden Retriever, Stella, our next dog or two or three, and whoever visits our home.
Some events in life carry more meaning than others. The experience of meeting and talking with Jane, seeing this pup and his siblings at just a week old, and watching them grow carries great meaning for me. I learned how much from the life and loss of Zele. You could call the experience of that life, the loss of it and the transition to where I am now an awakening.
There’s a clue in that.
#Labrador #Retriever #puppies